What is an assessment
Many adults need support in their daily lives.
There are lots of reasons for this. For some people, getting older means they can’t do as much as they could when younger. Other people might need help because of a learning or physical disability, mental health needs, long-term illness or problems with drugs or alcohol.
The kind of support people need varies. Some people need help with daily activities such as washing and dressing; others need help to get out into the community to socialise and stay well.
Most people can manage with the help of family and friends, while others qualify for council-funded support at home to help them to live independently.
For some people, more intensive help may be needed. This might include supported housing or residential care.
An assessment is one of the ways in which we can decide what kind of help somebody might benefit from.
An assessment will be carried out if it appears that someone needs support. The assessment enables us to understand your situation and is used to make decisions about what support and services to offer you.
An assessment typically involves meeting with a social care professional (for example, a social worker employed by the council). It is important to note that we offer “carer assessments” for friends and family who care for others as well as “service user assessments”.
An assessment looks at:
- your situation. This focuses around the issues you need help with and the impact those issues are having on your wellbeing. We want to understand all the issues you need help with so that we can decide how best to support you. The law requires that your assessment starts with your views about the needs you have to improve your wellbeing
- what is already working to address those issues. This focuses on how you help yourself and how others (friends, family members or other organisations) are helping now or in future
- what needs to happen or change. This focuses on what you want to achieve and what needs to be put in place to enable this to happen.
We recognise that you may not need council-funded support to meet all your needs. Many issues can be resolved in a different way, and we will support you to identify those ways. The council has a legal duty to ensure that eligible needs are met. At the end of the assessment, the council decides what your needs are, which of them that require council funding will be met and with how much resource. To make that decision, the council uses criteria that was set by the government in the 2014 Care Act. You can read what the criteria is. It is important to note that the criteria is quite similar to the criteria that existed before the Care Act.
Generally the criteria means that we will meet those needs that are having a significant impact on your wellbeing. We can meet needs that are not eligible, but this is at the council’s discretion.
Where to get an assessment
If you think you may need support from adult social care, finding out about things in your local area can be a good starting point. There is a range of advice, support and activities in the borough that are open to everyone. There may be something you can access that will mean you do not need a formal assessment or support from adult social care. To find out more, visit the support services page.
If the situation is serious or urgent, contact our Assessment and Intervention team on 0300 303 6070 (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri). If you are a carer and think you need a carer assessment, please contact the Carer Centre on 020 7790 1765 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri).
What to do if you're unhappy with our decision
If you do not agree with the decision, you should in the first instance discuss the matter with the member of staff. If you are still not happy you can ask their manager to review the decision. If you have a complaint about the way your assessment was conducted you can contact the Complaints Officer at the council by emailing, phoning or writing to us. An online complaints form and contact details to lodge one can be found on the complaints page.